• January 18, 2023

Daniel Gardner Killed by Loose 18-Wheeler Tires on I-280 in Lake Township, OH

Lake Township, OH — January 17, 2023, truck driver Daniel Gardner died after an 18-wheeler's loose tires struck him on Interstate 280 in Wood County.

Authorities say the incident happened shortly before 2:00 p.m. on I-280 near State Route 795 in the Lake Township area. Preliminary investigation suggests a tractor-trailer was headed south on the freeway when for unknown reasons a set of dual tires detached from one of its axles. The tires passed through the median and crashed through the windshield of Gardner's northbound tanker truck, causing him fatal injuries.

Investigators say the truck that lost the tires continued away from the scene but was located that evening at an area truck stop.

The investigation is ongoing. No further information is currently available.

It seems there are still a lot of questions that need answers here. I don't mean police should have everything figured out so quickly, but a truck's tires don't just detach for no reason and considering the loss of life involved it's important to learn why it happened in Ohio.

Given how securely truck wheels are connected to their axles, the chances of this happening wholly out of the blue are slim to none. Sometimes an issue is found that might have been detected during a careful pre-trip inspection, but in many cases the actual wheels—rims and all—completely separate from the axle. Those situations aren't just a matter of some loose lug nuts, but rather a catastrophe most often caused by minimal or even totally-neglected maintenance of the truck. Either way it seems like the people behind that truck, both the driver and his employer, may have some answering to do for what happened on the highway—including the part where the driver left the scene.

Unfortunately neither he nor his employer would likely jump at the chance to potentially implicate themselves, which means the facts must likely come from thorough and careful investigation. That means not only conducting a full forensic examination of the truck but also checking its service and maintenance histories, the driver's health, phone, and driving records, any recorded footage from the truck's cameras that showed what happened before, during, and after the wreck, its Electronic Control Module (ECM) data, and many other sources of information both at the scene and elsewhere. Connecting all those dots is essential, yet getting the whole truth of a commercial vehicle accident often means digging deeper than law enforcement has the time or ability to go.

In the end I just hope that the investigation, whomever may conduct it, properly addresses all the lingering questions about exactly what happened here. The people who lost a loved one deserve the whole story, so someone must ensure they get it.

Daniel Gardner Killed by Loose Truck Tires on I-280 in Lake Township, OH
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